02/25/15
ISIS Job Fair

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Getting Ahead Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The MidKnight Review, Anne’s Opinions and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

02/20/15
50 Shades of Government

The Council Has Spoken! The Watcher’s Council Results – 02/20/15

The Watcher’s Council


The People’s Cube

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

“The difference between golf and government is that in golf you can’t improve your lie.” – George Duekmejian, former Republican governor of California

“It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. – President Thomas Jefferson

“If we can really understand the problem, than the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem.” – Krishnamurti

“It’s easy being a humorist when you’ve got the whole government working for you.” – Will Rogers

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This week’s winning essay, The Right Planet’sMore Hipster Harf: ‘We Can’t Stop ISIS by Killing Them; We Need to Give Them Jobs’, uses State Department spokesperson Marie Harf’s ridiculous statement about buying off Islamic State and others with ‘jobs’ as a starting point for an explanation on why the Left has such a problem facing up to radical Islam. Here’s a slice:

For many years now I have said the State Department needs to be cleaned out from top to bottom. And I’m not alone in that opinion, either. The U.S. Department of State has a long history of working against the best interests of the United States, consistently shilling for all things socialist. Those who have looked into tax-exempt foundations like the Carnegie Endowment, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Consortium, Guggenheim Fellowship, etc., and the subsequent investigation by the Reece Committee, might know what I’m talking about.

The first U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, once said, “Consistency has never been a mark of stupidity. If the diplomats who have mishandled our relations with Russia were merely stupid, they would have occasionally made a mistake in our favor.”

State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf recently told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews ISIS could be stopped if we could just create jobs for them.

At first blush, for those ignorant of Marxist ideology, this sort of thinking seems preposterous. Well, I am strongly inclined to agree. But I digress.

For dyed-in-the-wool Marxists and their fellow travelers (sympathizers), it makes perfect sense. This is why I believe it so important more Americans gain a better understanding of Marxism—since it is lauded and approved of by so many American universities and the liberal media, not to mention those in positions of power within our own government.

Karl Marx believed our view of history needed to be changed (cf. “hope and change”). Cleon Skousen wrote in his book The Naked Communist about the central importance economics plays in the Marxian religion. Marx believed history should be changed to “a fixed, undeviating, pre-determined course of progress which could be charted in the past and predicted for the future on the basis of a single, simple criterion—economics.”

According to Marx and his votaries, if we could only “level the playing field” by making everyone and everything the same (see “equality and fairness”), it would usher in a veritable utopia, i.e., the long hoped for “workers’ paradise.” Interestingly, about 90 percent of what Karl Marx wrote concerned economics (see Das Kapital).

Well, let’s just get something straight: ISIS doesn’t give a damn about economics—quite the contrary. Their motivations and actions are not influenced by Marxism, per se, but rather the teachings of Muhammad, and a literal interpretation of the Koran and the Hadith.

Although it should be noted that Marxism and Islam have quite a bit in a common.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Graeme Wood in the Atlantic with an interesting piece, What ISIS Really Wants, submitted by Bookworm Room. He attempts to present something very rare in today’s climate, an examination of the conflict from the point of view of the Islamic State. An excellent read.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Bookworm Room and Ask Marion were unable to vote this week, but neither was subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

02/18/15
Obama on Jobs for ISIS

Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘All ISIS Needs Is Jobs’ Edition

The Watcher’s Council

http://www.youngcons.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/isis-growing.jpg

The Obama Regime’s State Department in action, courtesy of spokeshole Marie Harf:

When even Chris Matthews gets it (sort of), we’re in real trouble.

The Obama regime can’t even create decent jobs here in America, let alone Iraq. Do these people seriously think we’re going to be able to buy off the Islamic State?

Then there’s the president’s new ‘war’ request, which ought to be voted down, at least at this time. The video above tells us why the sort of mindset that prevails in the White House shouldn’t be trusted to manage a successful war.

  • First, the AUMF Matthews refers to isn’t really a declaration of war, just another half-assed ‘authorization’ and we’ve certainly been there before.
  • Second, IS is not anywhere near the imminent threat Iran is, and taking ISIS out simply delivers Iraq to Iran as part of their goal… a Shi’ite, Iran-ruled nuclear armed bloc controlling both sides of the Persian Gulf and stretching to the Mediterranean. Taking out ISIS simply removes one more obstacle to Iran, the same way our taking out Saddam Hussein did. Let’s deal with Iran first… which of course will never happen with this president.
  • And finally, based on this president’s record as Commander-in-Chief, do we really want him in charge of creating yet another stupid blunder? Do we want our troops fighting another war and dying because they’re handcuffed by his ridiculous rules of engagement? Just today, he insulted the Egyptians and criticized them for bombing targets in Libya after ISIS killed a number of Egyptian Copts there… whom the Obama Administration in their statement pointedly did not refer to as Christians. Our president would be challenged running a McDonald’s successfully,let alone a war. A loose AUMF that gives him the leeway to play amateur strategist inbetween golf games is not the answer.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, The People’s Cube and The Political Commentator earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

02/13/15
Dictator Valentines

The Council Has Spoken – Watcher’s Council Results – 02/13/15

The Watcher’s Council


The People’s Cube is committed to safe dictator-dating and actively promotes it by being a go-to guide for all those in the totalitarian dating community.

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

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This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’sThe Burning Man And The Walking Dead is my look at the Islamic State, the recent immolation of a Jordanian Pilot, the reaction of certain western leaders and the uncomfortable truths of what they all signify.

Here’s a slice:

By now, the burning alive of captured Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh by Islamic State has become common knowledge.

His captors imprisoned him in a cage, doused it with gasoline, and made a trail of gas leading to it, so that he could see the flames approaching. They then lit it on fire, filmed his agony as it spread to the cage and engulfed it and then put out a slick,professionally produced video of the whole thing, released by Islamic State’s Al-Furqan media center. The video was titled ‘Healing the Believers’ Chests,’ which has a meaning worth exploring it detail.

The video itself started with footage of Jordan’s King Abdullah essentially declaring war on Islamic State and announcing his support for the anti-IS coalition. It then interspersed shots of al-Kasasbeh sitting in a darkened room and giving details on the air strikes he participated in against Islamic state with TV-style news reports showing the results of the airstrikes. And of course, an emphasis on scenes dead and dying child victims. It then cuts to the immolation of al-Kasasbeh.

The reaction from the West was illuminating. Both UK PM David Cameron and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond referred to this as ‘murder’. President Barack Hussein Obama’s statement didn’t even go that far:

“You know, I just got word of the video that had been released. I don’t know the details on the confirmation. Should in fact this video be authentic, it’s just one more indication of the viciousness and barbarity of this organization. And I think we will redouble the vigilance and determination on the part of global coalition to make sure that they are degraded and ultimately defeated. It also indicates the degree to which whatever ideology they are operating off of, it’s bankrupt. We’re here to talk about how to make people healthier and make their lives better. And this organization appears only interested in death and destruction. Thank you very much, everybody.”

Both PM Cameron and President Obama’s remarks reveal a great deal about their mindset. To Cameron and Hammond, this is a ‘murder’ carried out by criminals. President Obama didn’t even go that far, just seeing IS as some malcontents who need ‘increased vigilance’ and ‘determination’ to be thwarted. That’s how they see it..not as war, or as terrorism or, mercy no, anything to do with Islam, but just a band of criminals.

Want to know how Islamic State sees it?

As a wartime execution, as tactics, as fully justified by Islam and not as murder at all. And as barbaric as they are, they have a point. Murder, after all, has a personal element, for sex, for money or to shut someone up. This wasn’t murder.

Perhaps it’s worth remembering that Islamic State was originally armed and trained by the Obama Administration,  and that their enemies were Hezbollah, the Syrian forces of Basher Assad and the corrupt Shi’ite Iraqi government and its troops. They did not attack U.S. forces or those of any European country. The way they see it, we declared war on them, and without formally announcing it as the Qu’ran mandates. And it was the U.S. that intervened with air strikes, that has put together a loose coalition of Sunni autocrats to attack them and has been allowing Shi’ite Iran to intervene directly and wage war on them.

Of course, after the brutality Islamic State has made its trademark, especially  on any non-Muslims like Christians and Yazidis, a case could be made for going to war against them. But it wasn’t and we haven’t. All we’ve done is supply some arms and advisers to the Kurds and the Iraqi Shi’ite army and perform some air strikes and drone attacks.

Because to actually go to war against Islamic State might also involve certain problems, since literally everything Islamic State is doing is fully justified by the Qu’ran. That’s why the Obama Administration and UK PM David Cameron are ever so careful not even to whisper the word ‘Islam’ where IS is concerned.

Now, Jordan, being an Arab Muslim State did declare war on IS, and publicly. That’s exactly why Islamic State showed that footage of the King doing so in their video, why they were careful to include the Jordanian pilot’s confession of participating in the bombing attacks and why they were careful to show a number of brutalized children that IS  claimed were victims of those attacks.

You see, they learned this tactic from Hamas and Hezbollah. And while they probably may have figured out by now that it only works in creating an uproar in places like Europe and in the UN if it’s Israel defending itself, it will likely have that desired effect on many Muslims.

In fact some Arab members of the coalition were already easing themselves out, although the White House is claiming that they’re all still committed to defeating Islamic State and were just taking a breather.We’ll see, but it’s a fact right now that only Jordan is now more committed than it was after Moaz al-Kasasbeh’s death. That’s why the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a big part of the coalition,  just sent a squadron of F-16s to Jordan that the  Obama Administration just gifted the UAE as a ‘reward’ for joining up .

King Hussein’s renewed commitment can be understood because Jordan is a U.S. client state heavily dependent on foreign aid, and because al-Kasasbe’s death has been a unifying issue in an increasingly disunified kingdom. How long that lasts is anyone’s guess.

The Sunni autocrats are wary for a couple of reasons. First, as they see the Obama Administration becoming increasingly closer to Iran, they also understand now that the Sunni forces of Islamic State represent one of the few checks to Iran in the region.

Obama allowing Iranian backed Shi’te rebels to overthrow a Sunni ally of America in Yemen and essentially okaying an Iranian colony and a brand new strategic threat to the Saudis and the UAE to emerge was a major wake up call. The Saudis are now bracketed by Iranian client states from the north in Iraq and from the south by Yemen, and they fear being surrounded and overwhelmed.

The second reason is that the Saudis and the other Sunni autocracies are gradually becoming leery of fighting Islamic state has to do with their need to placate conservative religious constituencies in their own kingdoms. However barbaric Islamic State seems to us, their ideology isn’t ‘whatever it is’  to quote President Obama but a mainstream fundamental reading of the Qu’ran and Sharia.

Which of course, is the core of the matter.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and former Senior Director of the National Security Council Michael Doran’s essay in Mosaic MagazineObama’s Secret Iran Strategy submitted by Joshuapundit.

What he’s done here is a must read. His premise – and I largely agree with him – is that President Obama’s appeasement of Iran isn’t merely inexperience. It’s not so much that there is no strategy in place, but that there has indeed been a consistent strategy, one based on this president’s malignant ideology that has been his goal since day one. And thus far more dangerous.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Ask Marion was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the normal 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

02/11/15
Obama and Iranian Nukes

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Toaster Edition

The Watcher’s Council

https://danmillerinpanama.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/a1-obama-and-kahameni-building-a-toaster.jpg

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, Seraphic Secret, The Political Commentator, The Pirate’s Cove and The People’s Cube earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

02/6/15
Al-Qaeda Sniper

The Council Has Spoken! Our Watcher’s Council Results – 02/06/15

The Watcher’s Council

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran…should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth. – CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad

Mohamed Akram, explained that the Brotherhood “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. – Robert Spencer, Muslim Brotherhood in America

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This week’s winning essay, The Noisy Room’sThe Muslim Brotherhood Calls For “A Long, Uncompromising Jihad” In Egypt After Meeting With US State Department, is a well written account showing yet again how the Obama Administration empowers and supports Islamists at every turn. Here’s a slice:

It couldn’t be more obvious to me that Obama and his Administration are in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood. This past week, they held a confab at the State Department concerning their ongoing efforts to oppose the current government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, who rose to power following the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, an ally of the Brotherhood, in 2013. And that just pissed Obama off to no end. Not hard to tell where his allegiances lie and they certainly aren’t with Israel.

Waleed Sharaby, who is a secretary-general of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council and a spokesman for Judges for Egypt, a group reported to have close ties to the Brotherhood, posed for a selfie in front of the State Department emblem while showcasing the Muslim Brotherhood Rabia four-finger sign. The caption under the pic says, “Now in the U.S. State Department. Your steadfastness impresses everyone.” The sign is named after Rabia Square in Cairo, where a large anti-coup sit-in was held for about forty days before it was dispersed. The sign is meant to express solidarity with the thousands wounded, killed and burnt by the Egyptian army during the dispersal and persistence of the anti-coup movement, whereas pro-coup activists, figures and media consider the sign to be a terrorist sign. Or should that be called an ‘armed insurgent’ sign since we are not allowed to call the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban or CAIR the scum bag terrorists they are? Confusing, huh? Only certain terrorists are actually terrorists according to Obama. Only the ones he doesn’t snuggle with. Actually, doing away with the word ‘terrorist’ altogether is straight out of CAIR’s playbook. Radical Islamists of a feather and all that.

The delegation not only included Sharaby, it also had on board Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Brotherhood and Abdel Mawgoud al-Dardery, a Brotherhood member who served as a parliamentarian from Luxor as part of its makeup. Maha Azzam, who was also part of the delegation, proclaimed that the talks were ‘fruitful.’ Yeah, I bet they were. Azzam was speaking at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). This is yet another group accused of having close ties to the Brotherhood. Azzam also declared that the State Department expressed openness to engagement. Quoi? Engage in what precisely? So, does this mean that the Brotherhood is now just another arm of our State Department? It’s sure beginning to look that way.

Any fool can see that Obama is still supporting putting the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Egypt and wants al-Sisi dealt with and gone. State Department officials would not comment on the content of the talks, several of which consisted of public get-togethers (by invitation) in Maryland and Virginia last week. I’m sure they had cocktails, while discussing the ouster of al-Sisi and the destruction of Israel.

From Patrick Poole:

Patrick Poole, a terrorism expert and national security reporter, said the powwow at the State Department could be a sign that the Obama administration still considers the Brotherhood politically viable, despite its ouster from power and a subsequent crackdown on its members by Egyptian authorities.

“What this shows is that the widespread rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood across the Middle East, particularly the largest protests in recorded human history in Egypt on June 30, 2013, that led to Morsi’s ouster, is not recognized by the State Department and the Obama administration,” Poole said.

“This is a direct insult to our Egyptian allies, who are in an existential struggle against the Muslim Brotherhood, all in the pursuit of the mythical ‘moderate Islamists’ who the D.C. foreign policy elite still believe will bring democracy to the Middle East,” Poole said.

Two days after the delegation meeting, the Muslim Brotherhood called for “a long, uncompromising Jihad” in Egypt. They released an official statement calling on their supporters to “prepare” for Jihad, according to an independent translation of the statement first posted on Tuesday.

In typical Muslim Brotherhood fashion, the releases in Arabic and English contradicted each other. Look to the Arabic translation for their true intentions. The English release is propagandic taqiyya for the infidels and nothing but lies:

A call for “a long, unrelenting Jihad” appeared on the Brotherhood’s Arabic language website Tuesday. The statement, first reported Friday by the Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo, starts by invoking a passage from the Quran: “And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of God and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know but whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of God will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.”

On its English language website Friday, the Brotherhood struck a dramatically different tone in an article in which it “Reiterates Commitment to Non-Violence.”

[…]

The English posting says Brothers who stray from non-violence “no longer belong in the Brotherhood, and the group no longer accepts them, no matter what they do or say.”

As the IPT has shown, offering mixed messages in Arabic and English is routine for the Brotherhood.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Michael Totten with a great piece in the City JournalChris Kyle wasn’t a savage; he killed savages., submitted by Joshuapundit. The film “American Sniper” seems to have sparked a visceral reaction in the Left, regardless of whatever cinematic or artistic merits it might or might not have. Michael Totten, as usual, cuts to the very bone of the matter. Recommended.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Ask Marion was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the usual 2/3 vote penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

02/4/15
Terrorism ID Chart

Watcher’s Council Nominations – ‘Whose A Terrorist?’ Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

02/3/15
Tea Party

The Tea Party: Then and Now

By: Michael Johns

The largest and most impactful political movement, at least since the civil rights movement and perhaps in all of American history, originated in the minds and efforts of less than a dozen American citizens.

It was late February 2009, just weeks after the inauguration of Barack Obama, and there was every reason for conservatives to fear the worst: That we had elected a polarizing, far left and ultimately ineffectual president who would prove a threat to constitutional law, our economy and America’s global standing in the world.  Most concerning was that he would gradually or even quickly erode our nation’s two centuries of respect for individual rights and liberties upon which America was founded, “fundamentally transforming” (as he promised) our nation in destructive ways.

On the morning of February 19, 2009, as was often the case, I had the financial media outlet CNBC playing on a distant television in my suburban Philadelphia home.  This particular cold February morning, Rick Santelli, a Chicago-based CNBC reporter, was doing his usual stand-up reporting from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade (COMEX).  Santelli began reporting on Washington’s federal subsidies of housing under Obama when mid way through his report his sense of outrage began to escalate passionately.

Santelli accused the Obama administration of “promoting bad behavior” in subsidizing mortgages then at default risk with a $75 billion housing program, known as the Homeowners Affordability and Stability Plan. He then turned and, while still live on CNBC, stated assertively to COMEX floor traders: “We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party!” Santelli’s suggestion of a Tea Party response to the federal government’s overreach was greeted with supportive applause and whistles of approval from COMEX traders. Santelli then said: “What we are doing in this country is making our founders roll over in their graves.”

I found Santelli’s Chicago comments accurate, inspirational and even bold for a mainstream reporter in a media world that really never challenged Obama on much of anything during or since the 2008 campaign. What I did not realize was that his remarks were viewed similarly by several other conservative-leaning Americans, who would go on to inspire a national political movement that would shake the nation.

Just a few days following Santelli’s rant, 12 or so conservative activists, including me, were invited to participate in a strategic organizing Tea Party conference call moderated by Nashville-based, Stanford educated conservative Michael Patrick Leahy.  It was Leahy who earlier launched the now famous #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter) hashtag, where it remains today one of Twitter’s most commonly used hashtags and a key methodology for conservative communication.

Most on the call, unlike me, were new to political engagement.  They had largely never worked in government, public policy or politics. Aside from Leahy and me, the others had never managed an organization either.  They had largely never written or spoken on political or public policy themes, even though all of us would soon be called upon to articulate our Tea Party message nationally in the weeks to come.  Most had never even worked on a political campaign.  But the passion on that call was infectious.  The 12 or so of us left it with a feeling that a potentially influential national political movement was emerging—and quickly.

Several follow-up calls were scheduled, and they led us to devise a now well-known plan for Tea Party protests across the nation on Tax Day, April 15, 2009.  The aggressive six-week timeline, like much that the Tea Party movement has undertaken since its creation, was organized hastily, with a sense of urgency, and not without its errors. But April 15, 2009, is now a fairly notable day in American history in the sense that it was the physical manifestation of a national political movement, comprising tens of millions of Americans and quite possibly the largest in American history, that would go on to impact significantly the nation’s political debate.

The day of April 15, 2009, was a busy one. For my part, in the afternoon, on Boston Square in downtown Boston, just blocks from the original Sam Adams-led Tea Party on December 16, 1773, I spoke to a large and passionate crowd furious with Obama and the country’s direction.  I then left Boston to speak that evening at one of the nation’s largest tea parties of the day, held in lower Manhattan, not far from the memorialized 9/11 attack location. Three days later, on the grounds of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, I spoke for a third time in just three days to a very large and vibrant Tea Party rally organized by the Independence Hall Tea Party Association, of which I was then an officer.

The years 2009 and 2010 were full of flurry and a sense of urgency for the national Tea Party movement, an urgency that has continued to this day.  In 2010, in Quincy, Illinois, where Lincoln held his sixth debate with U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas on October 13, 1858, I joined Leahy and the late media personality Andrew Breitbart in addressing a large Tea Party crowd on the precise location where Lincoln pointedly articulated his anti-slavery message: “We (the Republican Party) also oppose it as an evil so far as it seeks to spread itself,” Lincoln said that day in Quincy.

By this time, the message of our movement was being refined and polished, comprised mostly of three universal themes that were and continue to be broadly popular with the American people: First, the federal government has grown too big and its taxes vastly too excessive.  Second, the sovereignty of the United States—in controlling its borders, in developing its national security and foreign policies — must be defended at all costs.  And third, that the U.S. Constitution was a document containing absolute truths to which government needed to adhere if it was to avoid lawlessness and chaos.

As I was in Boston and New York City, Leahy and others organized one of the day’s largest and most successful events in Nashville, drawing thousands.  In downtown Chicago, just a couple blocks from where the Santelli rant heard round the world took place, another Tea Party founder organized a large and hugely successful Tea Party rally.  His name was Eric Odom.

Quickly, the passionate and activism of this small cadre spread to thousands, then tens of thousands, and ultimately to millions of Americans who identified themselves as being supportive of the Tea Party movement. On November 2, 2010, a highly motivated Tea Party movement rocked the nation, sending 65 new Republican House members to Washington and thus forcing then Speaker Nancy Pelosi to surrender her gavel to new Republican John Boehner. Four years later, on November 4, 2014, the Tea Party movement again proved a huge difference maker, further increasing Republican presence in the U.S. House and increasing its U.S. Senate seats by nine, including pulling out wins in hugely contentious races in many states, including Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, and South Dakota.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. House of Representatives, a Tea Party Caucus, chaired by former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, had been developed with the movement’s input to coordinate the Tea Party agenda in Congress.  And the national strategy discussions continued. In Chicago, for instance, Odom and I spent three long days in detailed discussion on the movement’s strategy, messaging and allocation of limited resources.

In the months and years since, along with other Tea Party founders from the February 2009 conference call, we continued tireless efforts of what by then had become a vast, influential, though sometimes chaotically organized movement of political consequence. All the Tea Party movement founders from Leahy’s first conference call are impressive in their own ways, and have their own personal stories about what sparked their leadership in this now historical movement.

In the years that followed, along with other national Tea Party leaders, Leahy, Odom and I crisscrossed the nation articulating the Tea Party message and helped to organize the movement politically in order to prevail in elections.

In Dallas, Leahy organized a national Tea Party leadership meeting that included many of the founders from the original February 2009 call participated.  “Let’s begin this meeting with a prayer to God for His guidance of this movement,” I suggested privately to Leahy, who agreed. We began the meeting exactly that way.  Later, also in Dallas, we organized a two-day training course for regional and other Tea Party leaders on political and public policy activism.

One of those leaders was Chicago-based Eric Odom.  In fall 2010, from Las Vegas, we poured ourselves into the campaign of Nevada State Senator Sharron Angle in hopes of replacing the Obama administration’s strongest U.S. Senate ally, Harry Reid.  As the movement’s prominence (and the associated strategic questions facing it) evolved, Odom and I spent several days in Chicago asking and discussing those questions and developing our best answers.  And there was the day in Philadelphia where I invited Odom to join me in addressing an important pre-election Tea Party rally held on the iconic grounds of Independence Hall in front of the very building where 56 founders of our nation pledged with a “firm reliance of the protection of divine providence,” their “lives, fortunes and sacred honor” to remove imperial British forces and rule and establish a self-governed nation rooted in liberty and the rule of law.

The Tea Party movement’s efforts, as even its detractors would concede, have since proven hugely consequential, ensuring that Obama, at least since 2011, was not given full reign of the legislative and executive branches of government.  A Tea Party-influenced Republican House and Senate, along with our extensive grassroots efforts, have held liberal Obama’s agenda at bay, despite the Tea Party’s ultimate inability to defeat Obamacare.

Since that first February 2009 conference call, the founding and ongoing development of the historic Tea Party movement is one of many intriguing personal stories, and a singular collective story.  Along the way, we have done many things well (removing Pelosi and then Reid as Speaker and Majority Leader, respectively).  We have strengthened the Republican Party as a party that stands more than before for conservative principles expressed (but too often ignored) in the GOP platform.  We also quickly obliterated the 2008 progressive political culture that maintained that Obama was a man who singularly held the answers for the nation.  Time has proven those ideas were not at all innovative and were actually just a rewording of those from the liberal playbook of more government and more taxes.  In all these ways, since those February 2009 planning calls, the national Tea Party movement has exceeded the accomplishments of the effective and well-constructed 2008 Obama for America campaign that ultimately propelled Obama to the presidency.

All this history is important because it reaffirms the veracity of Margaret Mead’s famous statement: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” It’s worth asking: If those first organizing calls had not been launched, would Republicans today control the U.S. Senate and House? If no, that means that Obama’s entire far-left political agenda would have been rubber stamped by an equally liberal Congressional leadership.  Has the Tea Party movement saved the nation?  I believe it likely has.

Yet, to be truthful about the inner workings of the Tea Party movement, we have done many things well, but failed in others.  In 2015, the Tea Party and patriot movement’s top priority must be communicating and impacting public opinion and explaining why and how Tea Party principles can make America great again: creating jobs and economic prosperity, restoring rigid adherence to the U.S. Constitution, and restoring a strong America that can defeat serious national security threats.

With a reliance on divine providence again, let’s roll back this utterly destructive, unconstitutional government and welcome in a century or more of strong liberty leadership.  Next step: We must explain our Tea Party vision and solutions for America.

01/30/15
Sarah Palin's Message to Michael Moore

The Council Has Spoken!! Watcher’s Council Results – 01/30/15

The Watcher’s Council


SARAH PALIN: Seen Posing with Sign That Says “Fuc– You Michael Moore”

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first we practise to deceive! – Sir Walter Scott, Marmion

Peace is purchased from strength. It’s not purchased from weakness or unilateral retreats. – Benyamin Netanyahu

Obama’s got something against Israel. – Broadcaster Rush Limbaugh, 2009

Ahmadinijad was stupid enough to be a wolf in wolf’s clothing, to expose his teeth and nails and alert the west. I can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I have all the diplomatic and rhetoric skills to do so. – Hasan Rouhani – President of Iran

Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are. – President Barack Obama

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This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’s Obama, Netanyahu And Congress: The Real Inside Story Raises Further Questions, is my analysis of the real story behind the ginned up controversy of Israeli PM Netanyahu accepting an invitation from Congress to address a joint meeting on Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program… and what ultimate questions it raises. Here’s a slice:

President Obama’s latest escapade involving Israel says a great deal about his deep animus towards Israel. And it raises an important question.

Our story starts with Speaker of the House John Boehner inviting Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on Iran and on Islamist terrorism in March.

Boehner’s rationale for this was a widely popular bi-partisan bill up in congress calling for large scale sanctions on Iran if the Obama administration is unable to craft a deal limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons capacity. President Obama, who watered down the previous sanctions and unilaterally dispensed with them said bluntly that he’d veto any legislation regarding Iran, and made a special point of mentioning this in his State of the Union address.

President Obama’s logic is that he and Secretary Kerry just need a little more time….in spite of three missed deadlines for a deal that have seen Iran’s nuclear stockpile actually grow.

There’s really zero transparency about what’s actually going on. IAEA inspectors have not been allowed inside major Iranian bases like Fardo, and among many things, Secretary John Kerry was apparently ‘misinformed’ when he claimed over a year ago that he had an agreement with the Islamic Republic that to cease operations at their heavy water reactor at Arak, a facility with no peaceful applications designed to produce weapons-grade plutonium. The IAEA hasn’t been allowed to inspect Arak either. Nor has it been shut down, as Kerry originally told us. Meanwhile, the Iranian Majlis is on the verge of passing legislation mandating that Iran increase its nuclear enrichment.

Small wonder Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a co-sponsor of the senate version of the bill called what President Barack Hussein Obama had to say about Iran as ‘talking points straight from Tehran.’

Even the Washington Post awarded the president “Three Pinocchios” out of a possible four for his dishonest and delusional remarks on Iran during his speech.

So it’s quite natural that Speaker Boehner would want the Prime Minister of Israel, who’s been outspoken on Iran’s nuclear threat to address congress to increase consensus on a bill that would almost certainly have to override a presidential veto. And Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu, whose country gets threatened with annihilation by Iran every other week was happy to accept.

That’s when the White House literally went berserk.

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The president claimed that congress had disrespected him by not clearing Netanyahu’s visit with the White House, although in fact congress has the legal right to invite anyone it wants to to address a joint session.

But the president’s special wrath was directed at Benyamin Netanyahu,and that was no accident, as we’ll see. The president announced that he would not meet with or otherwise acknowledge Netanyahu’s presence during his visit. And unnamed White House officials were quoted in the press as saying that Netanyahu had ‘forgotten that Obama’s going to be president for another year and a half’, and that Netanyahu was ‘spitting in our faces’ by daring to come to America without an official presidential invitation. There were dark statements about how there would ‘be a price to pay.’

The president tried to justify this by saying that the invitation by congress was a breach of protocol, and against U.S. policy to meet with a head of state this close to a national election.

He lied about that too.

For instance, a couple of months before the British general election, President Obama invited British PM David Cameron to the White House in a high profile visit that was essentially an endorsement. And just a couple of weeks ago, only four months before what’s shaping up as the tightest UK election in years, the president, who is more popular in the UK than he is here did the same thing,having a meeting with Cameron, a lavish photo-op and calling him ‘a great friend’ and one of his “closet and most trusted partners in the world.”

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There have been other occasions. Remember the president’s love affair with former Islamist Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi in the run up to the Egyptian elections?

The president also had the White House release a leak alleging that Israeli Mossad Head Tamir Pardo had personally warned US senators against further Iran sanctions.

At that point, I got fairly concerned, because to my knowledge no one in Israel’s security apparatus has ever said anything like that..if anything the reverse, that increased sanctions had the best chance to bring Iran to the table for real concessions. For the head of Mossad to say this would amount to him creating his own private foreign policy.

I can tell you now without any doubt whatsoever that this was a complete fabrication by the White House, and I heard it directly from several people who definitely ought to know.

Moreover, the Mossad released a public statement on the matter. And it was not exactly diplomatic in tone.

A senior Israeli official delivered an uncommonly harsh attack on US President Barack Obama’s administration Thursday evening, following the American report that alleged that Mossad Head Tamir Pardo had warned US senators against further Iran sanctions, in contradiction of Israel’s official stance.

“The fraudulent claims against the Mossad Head were raised by the Americans yesterday, despite a message that had been transmitted to them on Tuesday by Intelligence Minister [Yuval] Steintz,” the senior Israeli source told Channel 2 news.

He added that Israel had gone over the minutes of the meeting between Pardo and the delegation of senators, and that Pardo had not said what was attributed to him.

“Leaking the Mossad Head’s statements, even if they had not been falsified, is a serious breach of all the rules,” the senior source added. “Friends do not behave like this. Information from a secret meeting must not leak out.” […]

“The Head of Mossad did not say that he opposes additional sanctions on Iran,” said the spy agency Thursday.

“Mossad Head Tamir Pardo met on January 19, 2015, with a delegation of US senators,” Mossad said in a statement. “The meeting was held at the request of the senators and with the prime minister’s approval. At the meeting, the Head of Mossad stressed the extraordinary effectiveness of the sanctions that have been placed on Iran for several years in bringing Iran to the negotiating table.”

“The Head of Mossad noted that in negotiating with Iran, a policy of ‘carrots and sticks’ must be adopted, and there are not enough ‘sticks’ nowadays,” it added.

Furthermore, said the agency, he “said specifically that the agreement that is being formed with Iran is bad and could lead to a regional arms race.”

Both the Mossad and the Israeli government are livid over this, and that can’t help but affect the relationship with the U.S. This indeed is hardly the way an ally acts.

Of course, the real reason for all this goes well beyond the president’s ego. It’s very much about the Israeli elections.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion with a fantastic piece, Finally Obtained: David Gregory Arrest Warrant Affidavit, submitted by Rhymes with Right. Do read it – it’s especially well written and a fascinating read.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

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